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There was a time when even the thought of dentists (or orthodontists – depending how far they studied the intricacies of vrot mouths) had me come out in allergies ranging from pimples and warts to halitosis and athlete's foot.

And I've been through a fair number in a lifetime. It started in school when The Nurse paid a visit. Armed with nothing more than a mechanic's pliers and an injection needle the size of a knitter's number 12, she proceeded to extract milk teeth by the hundreds. “Stop crying! Open your mouth! Now spit!” Inevitably The Nurse was BIG and ugly, and you carried those scars of fear forever.

Then there was Molar Rosenberg, former rugby player and boxing writer, who, while your mouth was numb, bemoaned the corruption outside the ring. His orthodontist boss at the time, Canine Kelfkens took over my mouth - and all he sprouted was how he'd like to transform the Rotary organisation. A good dentist, nevertheless!

Later I had an interesting interlude with Dr Wisdom Wolmarans who enjoyed experimenting with new technologies. Like laughing gas. After five minutes I felt myself go – like in a dead faint. When I came to, our dentist was studying the manual, muttering something to his nurse about “probably too much gas for Mr B”, and proceeded to feverishly turn the knobs on the Afrox bottle hither and thither. To this day I can't remember whether or not he treated my teeth.

Much of the fear and apprehension have abated because of my new Tooth Fairy (no, he doesn't belong to the pink brigade – it's just my term of endearment). Dr Koos Grobler. Man, what a pleasure. He's come up with latest technology that makes prodding, grinding and drilling a doddle.

Painless, I say. No need for spitting (thanks to a mini vacuum cleaner that sucks up all the flotsam and jetsam that flies off your teeth during the drilling, and there's no need for answering inane questions while your bek is paralysed. Dr Koos doesn't talk. During the op, that is. But he allows time between patients to chat, telling stories about his time in Europe and what sick mouths he had to attend to; very rotten teeth, stale beer, old garlic and putrefying liver and onion breaths were the order of the day.

In contrast, he says, South African mouths are far cleaner despite diets of braaivleis, Kastele, Klippies and Coke.

 Then he waxed poetic over broadband and appropriately, blueteeth (sic), and how they “put ore on Telkom”. Thanks to him I've also opted for wireless.

Unlike in most cases, you leave his rooms feeling on top of the world, ready to get your teeth into things.

From: Cliff`s Column - Northside Chronichle


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